What Changes Are Being Made?
Nine changes are being made to the Nutrition Facts Label that are designed to make the grams and percentages more meaningful.
- The Serving Size and Calories sections of the label will be changed. These changes include increasing the font size for “Calories,” “servings per container,” and the “Serving Size” and bolding the number of calories and the “Serving Size.” These changes highlight this information and make it more readable.
- The Serving Size section of the label will be altered in order to better reflect how much people ACTUALLY eat in one sitting, which has increased over the years based on the latest nutritional science. In cases where the serving size is just slightly smaller than the container size, something that is happening more frequently in recent years, the container size will now be reported as people are likely to consume a whole can of soda, no matter what the serving size on the label says.
- Gram measurements and percent daily values (%DV) are now required to be displayed for “added sugars.” Some sugars naturally occur in food, but now manufacturers will have to report how much they actually put in the food.
- “Dual-column” serving labels are now required to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” nutrition information, especially in cases where it might look like the container is a serving size, like in a large can of soda or a pint of ice cream.
- Packages between one and two servings are now required to be labeled as one serving, as it is pretty uncommon for a sip or two to be left over from that 20 oz. bottle of diet soda.
- Percent Daily Values (%DV) will be updated to include nutrients such as sodium, dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, and iron as it is now becoming important to understand how much of each of these you are consuming.
- Along with the %DV being required for all nutrients, gram amounts are required for Vitamin D and potassium. Deficiencies of these nutrients are common, so it is important to make sure that people are aware of how much of each they are actually consuming. The daily amounts of nutrients required is also being updated based on the latest scientific research.
- The “Calories from Fat” label will be removed since the type of fat is more important than the amount, leaving you to be antagonized by Saturated and Trans fats one cracker at a time.
- Lastly, an abbreviated footnote will be updated to better explain what the percent daily value is, why it is important, and which calorie diet it operates under.
Need to Know:
On May 20, 2016, the FDA moved to change certain aesthetic and informative aspects of Nutrition Facts Label. These changes serve to more holistically encompass typical eating patterns of everyday Americans. Here is a link to the FDA website that describes these changes.